Niners debut at No. 23 in Scout.com rankings

The Scout.com NFL network's first power rankings for 2011 are in, and the 49ers are about where you'd expect them to be: Languishing in the bottom third of the league, just where they finished last year in the actual standings with their disappointing 6-10 record.

Our Scout.com experts ranked NFL teams from 1 to 32, and to nobody's surprise, the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers are at the top of our first poll.

The 49ers, also not surprisingly, are slotted No. 23 in the debut rankings. Now it's up to first-year coach Jim Harbaugh and the new regime running the team to lift the Niners upward in the rankings as the year progresses.

NinersDigest.com ranked the 49ers at No. 19, ahead of each of the team's three divisional rivals in the NFC West, which was ranked as the weakest of the NFL's eight divisions. The Scout.com poll has the 49ers ranked behind St. Louis (No. 18) and Seattle (No. 21) and ahead of Arizona (No. 31).

NinersDigest.com's top five in the debut poll, in order, are Green Bay followed by the Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots and New York Jets. The consensus of the experts has it a bit differently with Green Bay at the top followed by Pittsburgh, New England, New Orleans and Baltimore.

The 49ers were ranked as high as No. 15 by one Scout.com expert and as low as No. 31 by another. No NFC West team was ranked higher than No. 13 in the first poll.

Here is the way our experts currently see the NFL from 1 to 32:

Rank
Team
2010 Record
Win %
Hi Low
1  Green Bay Packers 10-6 .625 5 1
2  Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4 .750 7 2
3  New England Patriots 14-2 .875 10 1
4  New Orleans Saints 11-5 .688 9 1
5  Baltimore Ravens 12-4 .750 11 3
6  Atlanta Falcons 13-3 .813 10 2
7  Indianapolis Colts 10-6 .625 11 2
8  New York Jets 11-5 .688 10 2
9  San Diego Chargers 9-7 .563 16 5
10  Philadelphia Eagles 10-6 .625 16 5
11  Kansas City Chiefs 10-6 .625 16 9
12  Chicago Bears 11-5 .688 17 5
13  New York Giants 10-6 .625 16 6
14  Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-6 .625 20 9
15  Houston Texans 6-10 .375 28 9
16  Dallas Cowboys 6-10 .375 23 12
17  Detroit Lions 6-10 .375 25 14
18  St. Louis Rams 7-9 .438 30 13
19  Miami Dolphins 7-9 .438 25 17
20  Oakland Raiders 8-8 .500 27 16
21  Seattle Seahawks 7-9 .438 30 15
22  Minnesota Vikings 6-10 .375 31 11
23  San Francisco 49ers 6-10 .375 31 15
24  Jacksonville Jaguars 8-8 .50 32 18
25  Cleveland Browns 5-11 .313 31 18
26  Cincinnati Bengals 4-12 .250 30 13
27  Tennessee Titans 6-10 .375 31 17
28  Buffalo Bills 4-12 .250 31 21
29  Washington Redskins 6-10 .375 32 22
30  Denver Broncos 4-12 .250 32 21
31  Arizona Cardinals 5-11 .313 32 18
32  Carolina Panthers 2-14 .125 32 27

Legend:
Hi = lowest (worst) ranking vote received
Low = highest (best) ranking vote received



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